Most people start running for the hills at the mention of meditation!! It seems to be a four letter word!! I often say if you find it difficult to be still and with yourself, then how is anyone else going to want to be with you?
Once you take away all the cliches around meditation it simply boils down to silently sitting with yourself and allowing everything to be as it is. Every emotion, every sensation, every thought. Everything as it is!!
We are a creature that is constantly doing, doing, doing and so it a huge shift to suddenly stop and do nothing. But as we start cultivating this space, something happens to us on a deeper and more profound level.
If you’re practising yoga you’ve already begun the process of becoming a meditator. Yoga is all about this process.
Grounding into ourselves by connecting to the body, tuning into and synchronising the breath with movements, becoming more aware of the stillness in between, feeling the sensations and being present to what’s going on is exactly what yoga is teaching you.
This is also what meditation is about, but its the next step because you are going to deeper, more subtle layers within yourSELF!! without the movement while just being still.
Like our yoga, meditation is a practice and it’s a gradual process which requires consistency and is not about perfection. Its about being with your experience rather than resisting, seeing your thoughts and feelings, connecting with the sensations of the body, tuning into the environment and training yourself not to go down the rabbit hole with them. Just staying there right where you are and being with whatever is going on. Breathing through it.
To be able to heal we need to feel. Much of our suffering comes from unresolved and suppressed emotions and feeling our feelings is important for the health of our soul. Spending time with ourselves, experiencing the things that come up allows us to feel them to let them go. It means we grow and also aligns us with the truth of who we really are.
Meditation creates a gap and opens up a wider perspective. It gives you a chance to see what consumes your mind on a moment to moment basis. Is what you are saying to yourself really true or indeed actually you? Through this process of sitting still you start to see the mechanisms of how the mind works. In that space you have choice..and there lies your power and your freedom.
Practising awareness and seeing what the mind is saying, how we are feeling in that moment and what the story is attached to that, gives us the perspective to change our patterns. It gives us the room to grow and transcend, rather than repeating the same story. We can acknowledge their presence without buying into them which frees us from getting stuck.
This makes us more open, less reactive and leads us towards the stillness we’re looking for. Not by forcing ourselves to be still but by changing the relationship to our experience and having the question inside about what stillness really is.
Start the process by coming to classes which incorporate meditation into them such as Yin or Qigong and to familiarise your body and mind with becoming slower and stiller. Come to my guided meditation class on Saturday. Having the support of a group can make it much easier, especially when you are just starting. Then practice sitting in silence everyday, starting with 5 minutes and building it up slowly, eventually working up to half an hour or longer.
This inner space is waiting to connect with you…you just have to meet it half way.